May 18, 2022

New Journal Article: “Pathways to Becoming an Academic Subject Specialist: Insights from Three Librarians”

The following article was published online earlier today.


Pathways to Becoming an Academic Subject Specialist: Insights from Three Librarians


Wendy Girven Pothier
University of New Hampshire

Heather Howard
Purdue University

Paul Campbell
Ohio University


Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research
Vol 14 No 1 (2019)
DOI: 10.21083/partnership.v13i2.4147


Subject librarianship has been a research topic for many years, however there is limited professional literature providing professional advice and practical examples of pursuing this area of librarianship. This article examines pathways to becoming a subject librarian, particularly in an academic setting. Using case studies from three subject librarians with different backgrounds as examples, the article finds common themes and best practices for both obtaining these types of positions and achieving success as a subject librarian. The role of education, professional development and networks, and leveraging experience are discussed as means for librarians to move from working in a broad role as a generalist to transition into a subject specialist. This article approaches the subject from a practical, “getting the job”, professional development perspective, aimed at librarians who are interested in making a career transition.

Direct to Full Text Article (9 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.